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tv   Newsmakers  CSPAN  August 25, 2013 6:00pm-6:31pm EDT

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with democratic national committee chair debbie wasserman schultz. then oklahoma senator tom coburn holding a town hall meeting. later "q&a" with amanda terkel. >> this week on "newsmakers" debbie wasserman schultz chair of the democratic national committee. in the studio we have karen tumulty at the "washington post" and charlie babington. if i could begin why you are in arizona. the dnc is meeting for their fall meeting. what will you be voting? >> we will be talking about the four key pillars that the democratic national party will focus on over the next election cycle and beyond. those are making sure that we can train and recruit the next generation of political leaders.
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we have hired a full-time training staff to make sure they have the tools they need to really run 21st century campaigns.. . making sure we build on our digital advantage and ensure that we can continue to run circles around the republicans when it comes to running a modern campaign. kick off a voter registration efforts. we know in states like arizona and texas, and arizona there have been significant demographic shifts that have identified opportunities to begin likely did in colorado and virginia to turn states that were decidedly red to purple and then eventually to blue. we are going to do that through aggressive voter registration efforts. we are going to talk about the democratic agenda, making sure hold republicans accountable.
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>> you were talking about holding republicans accountable. intensive a message for 2014, what case can they make that they should be taking control of the house. can they make the argument that you have done anything to move congress toward a positive resolution? >> president obama and congressional democrats have been trying to make sure that voters have two distinct choices. they clearly chose president obama and democrats. they want to continue to rebuild this economy from the middle class out. they want to make sure when it comes to housing everybody has an opportunity to live the american gene and have a safe and secure roof over their heads. they want access to affordable healthcare. they want to make sure that they have strong retirement security and preserve our safety net program. those are the things that democrats have been fighting
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for, particularly relating for the economy. we want to take a common sense and balance approach that deals with targeted spending cuts as well as closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest americans. we need republicans to join us. they seem to be mired in extremism. to the best evidence as last week's the rnc meeting where they returned to the scene of the crime. we are expanding our map. they had their meeting at the
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hotel where mitt romney's so- called victory party was. they passed a resolution that doubles down on their opposition to a path to citizenship and said "we will not support immigration reform." and they highlighted how their party is getting more exclusive, more inwardly focused and more extreme. they said they wanted to deny cnn and nbc an opportunity to host their primary debates. and instead offered the opportunity to folks like sean hannity and rush limbaugh. are opportunities to better expand it. republicans seem mired in internal civil war. >> next year is not your friend both in the house level thanks to redistricting.
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a lot of these republican districts have become fortresses. on a senate level there have been a lot of retirements. as you look at that going forward, how do you look at your odds and what you're going to have to do to overcome that? >> i know folks are saying the maps are not our friend. they are the same folks that said that in 2011 that thought the democrats would lose the senate. we picked up a seat. we won the white house again and added eight seats in the house. we look at the opportunities we have in 2014. it is normally a tough cycle for a second term president. because the republicans have embraced extremism and voted 40 times to repeal obamacare and doing everything they can to make sure it is not successful
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because we have had strong recruitment they have done a great job at recruiting top tiered candidates. they will be in the position to take advantage of the fact that you have a lot of voters that have elected incumbents who already have buyers remorse. they do not want an extremist representing them. they want us to work together and know that you cannot have everything your way and work out a reasonable way to reduce our deficit, create jobs, smoothly implement obamacare and make sure we focus on allowing everybody in america to have an opportunity to succeed. republicans are focused on making sure that president obama cannot be successful. that is unacceptable to most people. >> can we switch the topic to the nsa? this divide both parties. within your party, you see very strong defenders of the surveillance programs that are going on.
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i wonder if this is something you have gotten involved in. have you made a bridge or does not fall within your bailiwick? >> it certainly falls within my bailiwick on the official side. president obama talked about protecting our national security interests in protecting the american's privacy it is critical. i have spent time on this. i spent five years on the judiciary committee during the reauthorization process of the patriot act and has spent some time on the privacy and security issues. these programs, while in some ways they are troubling, it is going to make some uncomfortable. there is no question that those programs have given us an opportunity to prevent terrorist acts and those who would do americans harm. there appears to be no question that there are times when the programs have gone for their
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than americans are comfortable with. including president obama. that is why he has begun to release and authorize the disclosure of more proponents of
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that program. he has made sure that we are taking steps and working with congress to strike that balance between security and privacy. initially, that is why there were minimal as a component to the law that ensure that when a privacy concern comes up that there are mechanisms in place to address them. i think the revelations that have come to light recently, that there were times when the line was crossed. that demonstrates the mechanisms were in place to catch those. to be pfizer court ruling that unconstitutional in 2011 and setting it aside and ending it
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was another example of how the process works. we have to continue to focus on finding the balance. >> what is your sense of this as a gut check issue for the democratic base? this whole nsa controversy does seem to have done something that's a lot of would have thought was impossible, forging common ground between the libertarians and the liberal side of the democratic party. do you get a sense that this is going to be the kind of defining issue that may be the iraq war was? >> i do not have the sense it will be a defining issue in that way.
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unlike the iraqi war where president bush was in office and very affirmatively differed with the democratic base and with the base of the entire country most americans thought that was the wrong war at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. president bush went in the opposite direction. president obama has seized on the concerns that folks have said need to be addressed. he has gone so far as to suggest there be an active advisorial role within the foreign intelligence area to be introduced while the fisa court
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is looking at the concerns. i think he has grabbed the old why the horns. >> sticking with the middle east for a minute, some of our major allies including israel and saudi arabia have supported the military regime that ousted president morsi. a number of people have said that the obama administration should be more forceful and taking some type of stand one way or another. they have declined to say that this is a coup. do think it is time for the democratic party to take a more forceful stance on what the united states should be doing about egypt? >> because the middle east has always been such a tinderbox and it is such a critical region for us in terms of our national security, any time you make decisions about the continuation of aid or the status of our relationship, you have to address and review the situation on the ground, taking things day by day, talking to our allies like israel in the region and other nations we have strong relationships with like jordan and saudi arabia. and be quite careful. you cannot make any rash decisions. they have extended some forms of military aid to egypt. president obama canceled some military exercises with egypt. we have to take you today as it comes, make sure our actions will not further destabilize situation in egypt. as horrific as what is going on,
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we want to make sure because israel is one of our strongest allies. it is so dramatically impacted by any of the shifts that occur on the ground here. we have to be quite careful. >> on thursday, there is the possibility that chemical weapons in syria were used on a large scale. if that turned out to be true, what are the options here? >> it is hard to have a full- blown discussion. president obama has rightfully called for presidents assad to
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step down. we have already authorized nonlethal assistance and even sanctioned some of the opposition groups. we have to be careful. there is not a unity around the opposition groups. it is not entirely certain what the best, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket and end up in a worse situation. we have to continue to work with our friends and nations we have in the region, make sure that we do all that we can to try to get assad to do the right thing and step down. it is very complicated and hard to say how we can most significantly impact that situation. president obama has said chemical attacks are obviously a red line. i know the administration is working very hard to try to see how we can approach our policy so that we can try to have some significant impact. we have to make sure we are not jeopardizing our own national security. >> if i could shift topics dramatically. does the dnc plan to take any
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position or statement about the san diego mayor accused of sexual harassment? what should the posture be about the mayor? >> i called for his resignation. his conduct has been personally offensive to me and entirely unacceptable. no employee of any, government business or any situation, should be subjected to sexual harassment and totally inappropriate conduct that bob filner has subjected employees two. there is a resolution that will be considered while we're at the dnc meeting within the next couple of days. i believe the democratic party will also take that position. >> will the dnc weigh in on the
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mayor race and anthony weiner. should he be exiting the race? >> anthony weiner is a candidate. he is not holding public office. i think that primary will play out on its own. it appears the voters will take care of that.
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i do not think it is relevant for us to weigh in. we cannot be weighing in on every single race in the country. in particular in this case, bob filner is the mayor of san diego. his conduct is outrageous and unacceptable. as a woman leader, i found it important to specifically say that not only was the conduct
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unacceptable but that he should resign. >> the rnc have suggested that filner's conduct has undercut the whole democratic line that there is a war on women. how do you answer that? >> i point you to the 18 point gap that president obama and democrats enjoyed among women voters in the last election. when it comes to our policies, women overwhelmingly support democrats and president obama's agenda. we are right on the issues that matter to women and they are wrong. we make sure that women have access to reproductive health services without interference from the government.
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we support making sure that we have top-quality education system so our children can get the best education and grow up and be the important next generation leaders of our country. we make sure when it comes to childcare that women have an opportunity to go to work and balance work and family. these are all things that republicans have quite literally
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done everything they could to derail the policies and positions that are most important. this relates to the policies that matter most to women. they're trying to distract him. they're completely wrong on most issues that matter to women. the results of the election last year was continue to demonstrate. >> we have a little but more than five minutes. >> as you know, there are concerns within the republican party that largely because of house republicans and they are getting in a worse position regarding presidential politics. i would be interested in your take on that. we talked about the gender gap. there's certainly a strong possibility that house republicans will prevent any type of comprehensive immigration reform. is it your sense that the republicans are on a bad track? are democrats tended to say let them self-destruct? >> the republicans are clearly on a horrendous downward spiral. if you look at what reince preibus continues to say, it is not the principles but the packaging. he says it is not what we say but how we say it. he is backed up by tea party extremists particularly in the house of representatives that oppose a legal path to citizenship, who continue to try to do everything they can. the only unifying principle they seem to have is to repeal obamacare. they are willing to shut the government down if we do not defund obamacare. we get back in the all, there is a debate they want to have over the debt ceiling which would
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jeopardize the full faith and credit of the united states. this is all in the name of appeasing the extremists in their party. the contrast continues to exist. the efforts that they have talked about it. all the demographic groups would widen. that is why we're going to make more gains. they're going to continue to spiral downward. >> this is going to be a fasten your seatbelt fall coming up. are there any other events as you look over the next eight months that you think are really
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going to set the template for next year's election? >> i think you have identified immigration reform. that is certainly going to be a critical issue. the direction we go when it comes to our policy on the economy, democrats under president obama's leadership are focused on trying to get this economy turned around. they are pushing to replace the sequester. this has eliminated headstart. it has cut this for seniors. it has cost us to put employees on furlough. even national guard members during hurricane season. that is the agenda that the republicans have phase.
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if they continue down the path of extremism, what i think is going to happen is that it is going to give us more opportunities to expand to win congressional races that no one is predicting we have a chance to win now. that is why we're doing everything we can to aggressively continue our map expansion. that is why we are in arizona. after this i will be going to texas for the next few days. there have been huge demographic shifts and ecstatic citizens who will we get them registered we know will support democratic candidates. they embrace our agenda and will rejected the extremism that they have engaged in. then i will be in georgia where we have seen this. president obama got 45% of the vote in georgia. we are looking to turn states that are already purple. then eventually blue. they continue to embrace extremism. that is what american voters will have a choice of between.
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we'll have lots of opportunities for success. folks want to rebuild the middle class. >> we have time for probably a couple more questions. >> is it your sense that hillary clinton will run for president in 2016? how often do you talk to people that are close to her? >> she is firmly committed to being a private citizen to recharge her family's foundation and embrace the issues that have been the hallmark of her career which includes issues important to women and children globally. the time for reaching a decision will be down the road. i have talked to secretary clinton both personally and the people that are around her as i have talked to many of the other potential candidates for president and their people. the democratic party will get ready to stand up to the strongest possible and for structure to prepare our parties or whoever our nominee is. the good news is that the next resident of the united states after president obama's term will be a democrat. >> this is all ready begun. a lot of clinton defenders and allies say this is just the media falling back and we will have this replay of this hyper investigation of the 1990s. others have said this is scrutiny. it goes with the territory. what do you think?
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>> hillary clinton is doing exactly what she said she would do this year, get immersed in writing her book and being a private citizen and recharging her batteries and engaging in the work of her family foundation. about will see or what she is because they get sidetracked or board with what we talk about everyday. they have an opportunity to succeed. there is plenty of time for 2016.
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>> thank you very much for being our newsmaker. >> my pleasure. >> let me turn to the both of you. what did you hear about heading into 2016? >> i was struck when she mentioned the four things. it is very much a process. it was continuing a digital advantage and that sort of thing. you wonder if they will be able to do that. it should not be that hard for
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the republicans to figure it out. if so, maybe that is part of the nature of a dnc meeting. she seems comfortable that they are right on the policies. she did say we need to get more republicans to join us. she went through the whole litany of all the ways republicans are not joining them. in some ways the democrats do have a somewhat ethical argument to make that we can make government work. we cannot get these republicans to work with us on anything. >> you mentioned of the map and that it does not look very good in the house or senate. from what you are looking at, how does it look? >> it'll be tough. the republicans did an extraordinary job in redistricting. in the senate have something like twice as many democratic held seats. really and truly the democrat are playing offense in two states right now.
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in georgia and kentucky were they would love to get mitch mcconnell. i think that is a pretty tough thing to do. >> there have been reports that president obama's goal here is to get nancy pelosi back into the speakership in 2014. has his efforts helped? >> because the map karen was talking about, i think that is such a tall order. if they were within four or five seed maybe you could see it. in many ways, president obama's message is very much what chairman wasserman schultz is. if the republicans are in the way, republican resistance. the president has been criticized by some by not doing enough to work with republicans. others argue that these members of congress are not going to change their mind about issues just because you have been over for ice-t or beer at the white house.
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a lot would not go because they do not want to be photographed with the president. it does seem that both sides are so badly dug in. this fall we may have some real problems getting the debt limit the race. i think a government shutdown is not out of the realm of possibility. >> the problem is the places he would most need to help his party are the places where he is the least popular. probably the best thing that president obama could do for his party in the two thousand 14 elections is to make sure this healthcare law gets implemented as successfully and smoothly as possible with as few surprises as possible. second of all do what he can to settle things down overseas. >> on the nsa data collection, you asked about this, liberals and libertarians are teaming up. she did not seem to think that that was driving a wedge there.
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how do you see that issue unfolding as we head into the fall? >> hillary clinton is giving a speech on the nsa on september 10 that i think will be fascinating to watch. i do think this issue does have at least the potential now of becoming that kind of dividing line within the democratic party and potentially something that could in fact shape whatever primary race there is in 2016. >> hillary clinton is giving a >> interesting she will be taking on that issue right now. what do you make on that? >> i have to differ somewhat on that. it is hard to see this issue becoming a really cutting edge issue for a couple of reasons. the vast majority of americans do want surveillance to take place to prevent us against terrorists. they do want this balance. also, it is hard to see even if i know intle


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